These past few months I’ve been spending a lot of effort investigating ways that I can revamp and upgrade my own daily routines and build good habits in order to boost my productivity and athletic performance. In this post I’ve put together a list of some of the books that I’ve read/listened over the past few months and also some memorable ones that I’ve read long ago.
My Morning Routine: How Successful people start every day inspired
Benjamin Spall & Michael Xander
This is a great book about how the choices we make in the morning determine how productive and mindful our day will be. It’s for the morning person that wants to upgrade their current routine or for the non-morning person working on establishing a healthier relationship with their snooze button.
Tools of the Titans : The Tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers
This book isn’t your typical daily habits blog post recommending that you drink water when you wake up and do 10 minutes of meditation in the morning. This book goes into specific details about the routines of actual, albeit exceptional people. It gives you a glimpse into the unusual and highly-specific actions that these people swear by. Now that I think about it, it kinda sounds like I’m describing a hoity-toity tabloid for incredibly successful people…but it’s a super interesting read none-the-less.
The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and in business
If you want to learn about the science and psychology behind how habits work, this is the perfect reference for you. This book was incredibly enlightening and has helped me help others. After reading this book, I am better equipped at helping clients figure out why they can’t seem to break a habit OR help them create a new one in less time. If you’re like me and you enjoy geeking out about human behaviour and understanding why people do what they do, then this book is for you!
Own the Day, Own your Life: Optimized practices for waking, working, learning, eating, training, playing, sleeping and sex
The title might be long but it says it all about this fantastic book. Aubrey Marcus let’s his no BS attitude shine through and teaches readers about the importance of specific daily rituals to help you OWN your day rather than letting the day just happen to you. I read 10 minutes of this book every morning as part of my very first 30 day daily habits challenge and what a way to start the day! I often don’t finish an entire personal development book from cover to cover because I get the gist within the first few chapters. This book was different. It wasn’t repetitive. I found every page to be super informative. I was so sad when I was finished reading this book and had to move onto another one!
Want be build good habits and take control of your day? READ THIS BOOK!
Atomic Habits: An easy & proven way to build good habits and break bad ones
The problem isn’t you. It’s your system. And this book guides you through the process of upgrading that system so that you can achieve the results you’re looking for….one habit at a time. This book goes beyond the science of habits described in Charles Duhigg’s book and provides a specific strategy for implementing practical and actionable changes.
The Slight Edge
This was the first book I ever read on micro-actions (aka daily habits) that can compound over time to yield significant results. It changed the way I approached setting and achieving goals in every area of my life. Regardless of what area of your life you want to improve or what goal you want to achieve, the philosophy outlined in this book provides a solid foundation for you to start from.
Want to shape your future by building good habits? Then this book is a must-read for you.
The 5am Club: Own your morning, elevate your life
This book takes a different approach to most self-help books and is written more like a novel than a non-fiction book. While it was a bit weird to get used to at first, there are some great takeaways and reasons why 5am is the most important time to wake up. One particular quote from this book that is on repeat for me these days is: “Stop managing your time and start managing your focus.” That one blew. my. mind.
There were several other valuable points hidden within the storyline which is why I decided to add this to your list. If a story-based personal development book isn’t really your jam, check out the 5am Miracle described below. It has similar takeaways but is written in a more traditional manner.
Daily Routine Mastery: How to create the ultimate daily routine for more energy, productivity and success
This was the book that first opened my eyes to the benefits of a cold shower but that’s not why I included it. I included this book because it provides some great actions to incorporate into your morning, afternoon and evening routines to help boost energy, be more productive and increase your chances of success (whatever that means to you) throughout the day. It’s also a pretty quick read which is always a huge plus for me.
The Morning Miracle: The not-so-obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life before 8am
If you’re new to mornings and looking for the EXACT routine to follow in the morning that will set the tone for the rest of your day, it’s revealed in this book. The author provides an exact formula for what should be included in your morning routine – and honestly, it’s a pretty good list. If you want to create your own routine by trying out different actions to see what works best for your lifestyle, you’ll probably find that this book isn’t for you.
Habit Stacking: 127 small changes to improve your health, wealth and happiness
The whole idea of habit stacking is to find ways to clump a series of actions together so that the whole routine of separate actions becomes a single habit. It helps me think about the habits I currently have in place, and how I can add onto those to implement a new one. So far I’ve found this book to be an incredibly useful reference when I’m choosing 5 minutes to work on during my monthly Daily Habits challenge because it suggests 127 small actions that I can choose to include as part of an existing routine. If you’re having trouble coming up with ways to upgrade your daily routines, this is a great read.
The 5am Miracle: Dominate your day before breakfast
This book is about the one thing that I need most in my life right now: FOCUS. The premise behind the book is to focus on what matters most and do it first thing in the morning which then leaves plenty of time to do the tedious things and/or the fun stuff. The book provides plenty of tips for how to implement specific actions that contribute to daily productivity and future success.
Taking the Leap: Freeing ourselves from old habits and fears
This book isn’t just about upgrading routines with daily actions, its about breaking thought patterns that lead to destructive choices and bad habits. Be prepared that this is a deep book that will cause you to take a long look into your soul, start to analyze your feelings and improve your self-awareness. It’s also an excellent reminder to show compassion toward yourself when you need it the most.
High Performance Habits: how extraordinary people become that way
To be honest, this book is pretty similar to the classic book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People but it’s a good read none-the-less. It clumps the most common habits of extraordinary people into a list of 6 different habits. The author essentially touts that if you implement these 6 habits, you’ll win. If you neglect them, then you’re doomed. I’d have to say that I agree with him on that one but you’ll have to read the book to learn what they are.🙂
Tiny Habits: The small changes that change everything
BJ Fogg, PhD
This book emphasizes the idea of filling our days with tiny actions that we can do in seconds or a couple of minutes rather than actions that take up a larger chunk of time. He preaches that big habits should be split up into several smaller ones making or breaking habits a lot less overwhelming and a lot more doable. The author is also the leading expert in the field of behaviour change and habit formation and the founder of the Stanford Behavior Design Lab so I’d say this guy knows a thing or two about building good habits!
What the most successful people do before breakfast
The author of this book is a time management expert and believes that mornings are the key to taking control of our daily schedule. She reveals habits that successful people do while most others are still in bed or losing a battle with the snooze button. I found this book to be incredibly inspirational and it inspired me to take a good look at my own morning routine. Since then I’ve massively upgraded the hour after I roll out of bed and I’ve even found that I’m wanting to wake up earlier than my alarm so that I can get an even bigger jump start on my day.
Remember: Building good habits is not a race its a marathon and a fight that has to be fought each day to achieve success in life.
There you have it. 15 ultimate books that will help you build good habits. Have you read any of these or have others that you’d recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts.